If you are entrepreneurial and are engaged in a startup business, you are more than well aware that you aren’t exactly working a 9 – 5 job. It never ends. And that’s not all bad.
If you are entrepreneurial and at the helm of your startup business, you know there’s more to your CEO job title than that acronym. In fact, to be accurate, you are the CEO-CSO-CMO-CTO-COO-CFO.
You really are all things to all people. You are interoperable. You have to be. Who else but you to make the key decisions. All of the key decisions involved in running your company and implementing your vision.
Which means it’s extremely important to surround yourself with collaborative team members, willing to share your vision, and willing to wear some of your multiple hats from time to time.
Your startup team may be comprised of you and one more person. It may be a team of seven. The important quality you are looking for in team members is the ability to lead as well as follow. The ability to research and offer insight. The willingness to serve in more than one functional capacity in your organization. Simultaneously.
If you’ve printed up your business cards with the CEO acronym and figure your job is done, it’s only just started. You can’t farm out the Sales, Marketing, Technical, Operations, and Financial aspects of your business.
It’s insufficient for you to set yourself up as a figurehead and let everything else fall into place on autopilot.
It doesn’t happen that way, my friend.
You are the living, breathing embodiment of your title of CEO-CSO-CMO-CTO-COO-CFO in your never-ending, 24/7 gig as the CEO of your startup.
You are the CESMTOF Officer. Congratulations!
Because when it comes time for your company to move to the next level, you will be exquisitely prepared to seek out and hire those individuals in those specific disciplines to help you grow your business to the next level. Because you’ve already done all these jobs and understand what they look and feel like in the market space you’ve created.
When you are the CEO of a startup, you can’t ask someone to do a job you haven’t done yourself.
It’s that simple.
Which is why there’s so much fun involved.
You get to stretch your brain in all sorts of directions. And the great part about being an entrepreneur and a startup is that all this information starts to mix together, instead of staying in nice, neat, siloed, segmented parts of your brain.
You start to think – and create – across the Sales, Marketing, Technical, Operations, and Financial interfaces.
Which is why when the students at Ross Business School, University of Michigan, who were applying to be part of the team of an entrepreneurial startup I am coaching asked me who and what I was looking for, I said one thing:
Are you willing to take the risk to wear all hats, simultaneously, and learn from one another.
Well, are you?
By the way, check out Tasty Kale. I just happen to know where you can get some.
Babette Ten Haken blogs about manufacturing, startups and entrepreneurship that traverse the sales-engineering interface™. Her company, Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, is a consulting, coaching, and training firm involved in customer discovery and business modeling.